[Photo credit: U.S. Dept of Agriculture]

Going gluten free? No worries, this Thanksgiving can still be fantastic. Pass the shrimp cocktail, antipasti, and turkey but don’t stop there.  Put out some cheese and gluten-free crackers, just double check the cocktail sauce for gluten, use a gluten-free bird, and use gluten-free broth to make your gravy and thicken it with rice flour or cornstarch.  Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with marshmallows are easily gluten free, as are veggies and cranberry sauce. And why not make your favorite stuffing recipe with gluten-free bread?

For dessert, pumpkin pie with a gluten-free crust and whipped cream, and some yummy meringue cookies!

Here are some great recipes for cheesecake bars and pumpkin pie from my new book, the second edition of Gluten-Free, Hassle Free.


Cheesecake Bars, Makes 36 Servings (Serving Size, 1 Bar)

These delicious bars are like miniature cheesecakes, perfect for an afternoon treat.

¾ cup crushed gluten-free graham crackers (such as Kinnikinnick or Schar gluten free)

½ cup gluten-free, all-purpose flour blend (see Chapter 5)

½ cup walnuts, chopped fine

¼ cup sugar

½ cup butter melted

8 oz cream cheese

⅓ cup sugar

1 egg

1 Tb lemon juice

½ tsp grated lemon peel


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Stir together first four ingredients, except 2 Tb of the graham cracker crumbs. Add melted butter and combine.

3. Press into a 9×9-inch square nonstick baking pan.

4. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 12 minutes.

5. Cream together cream cheese and 1⁄3 cup sugar.

6. Add egg, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Mix well.

7. Pour over baked layer, sprinkle with remaining gluten-free graham

cracker crumbs, and bake for an additional 20–25 minutes.

8. Cool and cut into bars.


Tip: If you prefer a taste besides lemon, use orange peel and

orange juice.


Pumpkin Pie, Serves 8

There is no need for you to pass on the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving—everyone will love this recipe.

Nine-inch Gluten-Free Pie Crust

1 ⅔ cup gluten-free, all-purpose flour blend (see chapter 5)

2 Tb sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp xanthan gum

½ cup butter

2 eggs


1. Combine gluten-free flour blend, sugar, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum.

2. Work butter into the dry mixture with a fork or a food processor until the mixture resembles small crumbs.

3. Add eggs, and work mixture until it holds together as a ball.

4. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for about 20 minutes.

5. Remove dough from freezer and place on parchment paper that has been dusted lightly with gluten-free flour. Press dough down into a circle.

6. Sprinkle top of dough with gluten-free flour blend and carefully roll out into a large disk that will fit into a pie pan.

7. Flip dough into pie pan and press into any cracks to make sure crust covers all sections of the pie pan.

8. Crimp edges to make a nice pie edge.



¾ cup dark brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

15 oz pumpkin puree

12 oz evaporated milk


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and add into spice mixture. Fold in evaporated milk.

4. Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 50 minutes, until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

6. Top with gluten-free whipped cream if desired.

Tip: If you want to use homemade pumpkin puree, cut a small pumpkin in half and remove the seeds; place pumpkin halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until pumpkin is soft and can be pierced with a fork. Scoop out pumpkin flesh; puree and strain.  Refrigerate until ready to use.